Warriors vs. Nuggets NBA expert prediction and odds for Christmas Day

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Golden State Warriors-Denver Nuggets matchup on Christmas Day.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The second of five matchups on Christmas Day features the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets taking on the Golden State Warriors – a matchup with two teams on winning streaks. 

After a rough stretch earlier this month, Golden State won five games in a row entering this game but finds itself as a 6.5-point underdog. 

The Nuggets, on the other hand, have won four straight and are one of the best home teams in the NBA, going 11-2 at Ball Arena this season. 

Can Nikola Jokic and company send the home fans happy with a Christmas Day win?

Let’s dive into the latest odds and my best bet for this holiday showdown: 

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Warriors vs. Nuggets odds, spread and total

Warriors vs. Nuggets how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 25
  • Game Time: 2:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Ball Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): ABC
  • Warriors Record: 15-14
  • Nuggets Record: 21-10

Warriors vs. Nuggets injury reports

Golden State Warriors injury report

  • Draymond Green – out
  • Gary Payton II – out
  • Andrew Wiggins – questionable

Denver Nuggets injury report

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – probable
  • Aaron Gordon – probable
  • Vlatko Cancar – out

Warriors vs. Nuggets key players to watch

Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry: The Warriors will only go as far as Stephen Curry takes them this season, and so far he’s been terrific. Curry is averaging 28.3 points per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from 3. He has 27 or more points in three straight games. 

Jonathan Kuminga: With Draymond Green suspended, Kuminga has jumped into the starting lineup and is playing well for Golden State. Over his last six games (all starts), Kuminga is averaging 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.  

Denver Nuggets

down-scoringNikola Jokic: This is a favorable matchup for Nikola Jokic against a Golden State team that lacks size outside of Kevon Looney and Dario Saric. Jokic has put together some down scoring games as of late, but he had 35 points and 13 rebounds in his last meeting with the Warriors. 

Jamal Murray: Jamal Murray is getting back to his usual workload, as he’s played 32 or more minutes in three straight games, taking at least 19 shots in each of those matchups. After missing time with a hamstring injury, Murray has 20 or more points in four straight games. 

Warriors vs. Nuggets prediction and pick

While Golden State is hot, the Warriors are just 6-8 on the road this season, an ominous sign for the team heading into the altitude in Denver.

This season, the Nuggets are 7-5-1 against the spread as home favorites, winning those games by an average margin of 10.7 points per game. Meanwhile, Golden State has been solid as a road go, going 6-3 against the spread. 

Denver plays at a slow pace – 29th in the NBA – which could make this a tougher game on a Golden State team that likes to play in transition. The star power is going to be out on both sides, but I’m not sure the Warriors have the size to deal with Jokic in the paint. 

He dominated Golden State in the first meeting between these teams, with the Nuggets winning that game 108-105 – even though Jamal Murray was out. 

I lean with Denver to cover the spread at home on Christmas. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.